Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton - Book Review


"Words on Bathroom Walls" by Julia Walton is a YA fiction novel that follows main character Adam who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. The book is a collection of letters that Adam is writing to his therapist in the counseling sessions that he attends but refuses to speak in. This book is hard for me to review, because I think that there are readers out there that would really connect with Adam, because they have personal experiences that line up with the novel. That aside, as far as writing style and reading experience, this was a two star read for me. The book is written in letter form, so it is very casual but it also felt incredibly unnatural and a very unlikely premise. The main character while experiencing a complex illness, is not portrayed as being particularly complex, and after reading the author's end note I'm not entirely sure how accurate this portrayal of schizophrenia actually is. Have you read "Words on Bathroom Walls"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of it!

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs - Book Review


"Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs is a memoir about Augusten's life - starting in middle school and going though high school, and those years for Augusten were *chaotic*. In middle school, Augusten's parents began seeing a therapist and what follows is one of the most bizarre Addam's family type situations I've ever read about. Augusten has processed everything in the book with wit and humor, and I loved it, and flew through this book. But the effect of that humor, is also this vacuum where you really get a sense of the hurt and confusion that Augusten must have felt because the situations described in the book are also terrible. For example, one of my favorite quotes from the book is Augusten describing his mother's most recent mental breakdown as "not crazy in a 'let's paint the kitchen bright red' sort of way but crazy in a gas oven, tooth paste sandwich, I am God, sort of way." Have you read "Running With Scissors"? Let me know what you thought of it below! 

Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels - Book Review


"Everything is Horrible and Wonderful" is a memoir that Stephanie wrote after her brother, Harris, died of a heroin overdose in 2015. Harris was an actor and writer, and if you are a fan of Parks and Recreation, you might know him as Harris the Animal Control employee, but he was also a writer for the show and a producer. Stephanie shares so much material that he wrote, emails he wrote her, instant messages that they shared - it's impossible to deny how hilarious he was. But she is also brutally honest about the anger and frustration that she felt towards and still feels. I listened to this book on audio, and it brought me to tears several times listening to her rage against her brother's choices and the long term consequences that will have on her life and everyone who loved Harris. As hard as it was at times to get through, I think this book has a lot to say about drug addiction and I am so glad that I read it. Have you read "Everything is Horrible and Wonderful"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of this book!

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu


"Moxie" by Jennifer Mathieu is a YA book with a lot of hype, and for me, it totally met it. "moxie" follows a junior in high school named Viv. Viv is fed up with the sexist tones in her high school - the catcalls from the high school football team, the dress code the seemingly only applies to the girls, and the terrible game played in the hallway, "bump and grab" - yeah, welcome to hell. One day, Viv creates a zin calling out all of this, called "Moxie" and the movement takes off at her high school and becomes something so much bigger. As an adult reading YA, I tend to pay a lot of attention to how the "grown ups" are acting. I was really struck in this book by the adults and their complicity, it made me so frustrated. This book does such an amazing job showing all of the layers of complication and control that lead to these toxic environments- those that Moxie girls and women everywhere fight.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Reading Wrap Up II October 2018




Check out my reading wrap up for the month of October! I read a total of six books, which honestly - yes, any amount of books is great - but that aside, for some reason I had built this month up in my mind as one where I would have more books read - why? I have no idea. There is only one extra day, Katie, why did you think you would manage to fit in three more books this month- because you didn't! Anyway! While all of the books weren't winners, the ones that were great, were extra great. Check out the video up above and let me know the best (or worst) books you read in October! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti - Book Review


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This book absolutely blew me away and I just can't help but to gush about it! "A Heart in a Body in the World" follows a main character named Annabelle, and at the start of the novel, Annabelle decides that she wants to run across the United States, something many people have done to draw attention their cause. At the start of the book, you aren't quite sure what happened to Annabelle, but one of the wonderful things about this novel, is the way the author, Deb Caletti, reveals this to the reader through PTSD episodes that are seemlessly woven into the narrative that felt incredibly natural to the plot and the experience of PTSD. And so Annabelle runs with the help of her family and friends, as well the people who she meets while she is running. Long story short, I love this book. There are so many amazing quotes in this novel and so many nuggets of wisdom about hypocrisy and the terrible lessons that we can be taught as young women. I did struggle a bit with this book plot wise, but I gave this book four stars and strongly recommend it. Have you read "A Heart in a Body in the World"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of this book!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Line That Held Us by David Joy - Book Review



"The Line That Held Us" by David Joy follows a man named Daryl - he needs food and so one day he decides to go hunting on another man's property. Shooting in the dark, he believes he has shot a pig, but is shocked to find instead that he killed another man. To make matters worse, the man that Daryl killed is a member of the Brewer family, and when his brother Dwayne find out - things to dark... very, very dark. Daryl desperately tries to cover up the crime, calling his best friend Calvin to help him to bury the body - my blood pressure is rising just thinking about this book! It was such an intense and quick read! I gave this book four stars, I loved the suspense in this book. The author told a story that was not just gripping, but also held some really important moral questions for the reader - what are you truly willing to do for another person, what lines do you hold? This book is a gritty page turner and perfect for this time of year. Have you read "The Line That Held Us"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of it!

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult - Book Review




"A Spark of Light" by Jodi Picoult has a very unique set up - the story is told in reverse order, starting with the "ending" and then filling us in on how the characters got there.  The setting is called "The Center" and it is the single women's clinic in the state of Mississippi that provides women with abortions. A gunman takes over this women's center, holding individuals hostage. The story is told from several perspectives, but the most highlighted it feels like is the hostage negotiator and his daughter, who is inside The Center as a hostage. This book felt like a very special episode of Grey's Anatomy, it's sweeps, they need to get the ratings up, and an original cast member is leaving, levels of drama. There are parts of "Spark of Light" that I really enjoyed, but it was impossible to ignore these twists ( even more than the one mentioned) that just felt incredibly unnecessary. Also, Jodi Picoult took a very didactic approach with this book, it's informative and interesting, but it also completely pulled me out of the narrative and because of these two issues I gave this book three stars. Have you read "A Spark of Light"? Let me know what you think of this book below in the comments!



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg - Book Review


There are books and plots that are easy to explain, and then there's this book! "Did You Ever Have A Family" by Bill Clegg is told from half a dozen different perspectives, all of whom are involved in a tragedy that happened - a home explodes the night before a wedding, and in the home are the bride, and the groom, as well as the boyfriend of the mother of the bride. The perspective changes each chapter but they all come together to explore grief and blame and healing. One thing about this book is that it demands your full attention, there is no reading this with one eye on the other eye on the book and the other eye on your phone or a television screen. The writing in the book is beautiful and haunting and there are parts of this book that will cause me anxiety for years to come. I generally don't enjoy books with a bunch of different narrators, I think it gives it a very disjointed feel and that's definitely the case in this book, so for that reason I wouldn't recommend it. Have you read "Did You Ever Have A Family" by Bill Clegg? If so, comment down below and let me know what you thought of this book! If not, drop a recommendation below for a book with multiple narrators that you enjoyed!


Monday, October 8, 2018

The Rosie Project by Graeme Samisen - Book Review


"The Rosie Project" by Graeme Samisen follows main character Don, he is an autistic scientist starting something that calls "The Wife Project". Which is basically a questionnaire he has created, that if he can get any women to take, he is hoping, he will find his perfect match. Rosie is introduced to Don, and while she in absolutely no way passes this test, Don finds that having Rosie in his life is incredibly enriching. This was a five star book prediction for me, I really thought that I was going to enjoy it, and instead it was two stars, and that's okay. But this book wasn't just disappointing, it made me angry. "The Rosie Project" takes this laugh track approach to autism, that with this particular storyline felt especially cheap and especially frustrating. Have you read "the Rosie Project"? Comment below and let me know your thoughts on this book!


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

I'll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara - Book Review




Wanna have nightmares and possible never feel safe in your own home ever again? " I'll Be Gone in the Dark" was a huge summer hit, which rarely happens, but once I read it - totally got why. It explores the crime sprees committed by the Golden State Killer. A man who thankfully, since the book was published, has been caught. But in the 1970's and 80's when he was active there were many families in the Sacramento Valley who were double checking their door locks and sleeping with the lights on. His crimes were notoriously brutal and he typically attacked couples who were in bed together. And the book is filled with facts from these crimes, but it is also a very personal story. It's about the victims of the crimes, it's about the investigative teams who have been obsessively trying to solve it from decades, and it is also about people like the author, off the clock sleuths who scour the internet late at night desperately trying to solve this crime. It's terrifying, and fascinating, and also inspiring. Have you read I'll Be Gone in the Dark? Let me know what you thought of it below! 



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

8 Thrilling Reads to Checkout in October




It's the time of the year, we all want a little spooky in our life. And there are a ton of spooky books out there. But I don't just want something scary, or potentially claiming to be scary, but not really at all scary and just a total let down. This is also the time of year for a good psychological thriller. So I have new book category, unsettling. Whether the reads are scary or twisty, that leave your stomach in knots. I have 8, yes it's awkward (BUT I didn't want to force the list to ten and books that I didn't feel strongly about) books that I recommend this time of year if you're looking for something a little unsettling. I have some backlist suggestions, newer thrillers, as well as some books that will stick with you for more than just the scares! Keep reading or watch the video above for the list!


Monday, October 1, 2018

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer - Book Review


I really enjoyed "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer - explores the life and death of a man named Christohper McCandless. A young man who in 1992 gave away all of his money, abandoned his car, changed his name to Alexander Supertramp, and ventured out into the Alaskan wilderness.  His body was found four months later in a bus he had taken shelter in,  and with his body they found an assortment of journals that gave some perspective on how Christopher came to be where he was found. I was familiar with the story before starting the book, but I had also made a lot of assumptions about Christopher that I shouldn't have. This was incredibly thought provoking because it's entire point it seemed was to challenge those assumptions that you might make about someone like Christopher. Krakauer did an amazing job mixing other related stories, with Christopher's story, including Krakauer's own adventures to really give perspective to Christophers decisions. Have you read "Into the Wild"? I'd love to chat with you about this book! Comment down below and share your thoughts on this book!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Beartown by Fredrik Backman - Book Review




I was trash for this book by page ONE, it is so GOOD! Like, how!?! "Beartown" by Fredrik Backman is an emotional rollercoaster of a read, and it follows a small town in Sweden, named Beartown. They have a hockey team, it's kind of a big deal. The team is the town's main focus and when one of the star players rapes the daughter of the general manager, the team falls apart, as does the town - but it also comes back together. If you have read any of Backman's other books I do think the town of this book is different, but the prose is a gut punch, as it always is. Also, this book is pretty slowly paced, but it has to be, in order for this book to convey the messages it successfully does about victim blaming, and rape, and sports, community, and family - that takes time, and I think this book does it right. Have you read "Beartown"? If so please comment below and let me know your thoughts on the book!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie - Book Review


"America's First Daughter" by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of Martha Jefferson, which is Thomas Jefferson's oldest daughter. You learn a lot about Martha reading this book, and really the most striking thing to me about this novel was just how well researched it clearly was, while still maintaining a really interesting narrative voice - it never felt like a textbook. There wasn't a note about that research though until the end of the book, which was over 600 pages for me. And I've always found that super frustrating, anybody else? Because the entire time I am reading a historical fiction novel I am thinking - is this real, did this really happen? The authors did take some liberties with history and I will leave a note below about my thoughts on those. Have you read America's First Daughter? Let me know what you thought of it below in the comments!


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

10 Books on My Fall Reading List - Top Ten Tuesday


What even qualifies as fall? I always get a little salty this time of year because I live in Texas. You just never know what kind of weather you will get here, but short sleeves are definitely a feature of most the autumn months. I mean it's 95 degrees outside today so...yeah. I am sharing ten books I am excited to read this Fall today as part of Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I took a peek at my library holds list and holy good books headed my way! I am excited for each one of these and I hope that enthusiasm is contagious and your TBR list fills up, too! Check out the video above to hear me talk about the books or keep reading to see the books I picked.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Dumplin by Julie Murphy- Book Review


"Dumplin" is a YA book told from the perspective of Willowdean Dickerson. Willow's mom is a former beauty queen who is now in charge of the town's big pageant and she also gave Willoe the nickname Dumplin' because of her weight. But in an act of defiance and bravery Willow decides that she wants to compete in the town's big pageant. On the one hand the plot is fairly straight forward, but there's also a lot going on in this story, there's a love triangle, there's tons of Dolly Parton references, and there's also some really enjoyable and life affirming messages about body positivity, and family, and friendship. This book is currently in production for a film adaptation - it is being produced by Jennifer Anniston, and just taking a peek at the IMDB page for it, it's going to be amazing. Leave a comment down below if you're excited for a book to film adaptation releasing this year or let me know if you've read "Dumplin" and your thoughts about the book!


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

My Favorite "Hidden Gem" Books - Top Ten Tuesday




Today I am sharing with you my favorite hidden gem books! Those books I love, and CAN NOT believe more people haven't read. While there were many books I felt could qualify, I narrowed it down to only include books that had 5,000 review or less on Goodreads to make sure that they were truly hidden gems. This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Check out the video above to watch me talk about the books or keep reading to see my list of picks!

Friday, September 7, 2018

You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero - Book Review


"You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero is a book I stumbled on while scrolling through Hoopla for a new self help book to try. I decided to read it because it had about a four star average on Goodreads, although I would say I am more in the 3 star area on this one. The author did not reinvent the self help wheel for me, but she did make it more entertaining and engaging than most authors. There are concepts in this book thought that you just have to buy into, like "source energy", or in my case, just completely gloss over them. What I did get out of this book though was the benefit of positive self talk. Pursuing your passions in life because you're excited about them, they're important to you - but what bothered me is that she would say something incredibly encouraging that I agreed with, and then in the very next paragraph she would say something that made me strongly question her critical thinking skills - which isn't a great impression to get from somebody who you're taking advice from. If you've read "You Are A Badass" by Jen Sincero let me know what you thought of it below in the comments. Or, let me know what your favorite self help book is!


Monday, September 3, 2018

Ten Percent Happier by Dan Harris - Book Review



I really enjoyed listening to "10% Happier" a few weeks ago, and I think if you are a skeptical person who is interested in self help - there is a lot that you can take away from this book. Chunks of the book are like a memoir of Dan Harris's life and his career, and then other chunks are about self help tactics and meditation. The author, Dan Harris, had a panic attack on live, national television - and after that he began seeking out, and was inspired by, different idea within the self help community. But each time he would find a new self help idea, he would hit this wall of skepticism. At which point he would start to look elsewhere, and he finally settled on meditation as being the most beneficial to him. I really enjoyed hearing Dan Harris's perspective on all of these different self help ideas - it's kind of life a taste test of all of these different self help gurus and philosophies. Have you read 10% Happier? Let me know what you thought of it below, or let me know which self help book you have found most help-ful!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill- Book Review


"The Girl Who Drank the Moon" by Kelly Barnhill is middle grade fantasy and one I picked up for Middle Grade March, which is a readathon that I will leave information about below (click on the video to see the notes). This book follows several different plot threads, that weave together the story of a town where each year the youngest baby is sacrificed. It is a pretty dark start for a middle grade book. But the other threads in that story show the unbreakable bonds between mothers and their children, and the powers of empathy and love, and it was just AH, it was a good balance. As an adult reader, I did struggle at times with suspending disbelief when reading this book, but even with that, this book is so beautifully written and I was encouraged by so many of the messages, most of the time it was very easy to forget that "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" is written for middle schoolers. Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!

Monday, August 27, 2018

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin - Book Review


"All We Ever Wanted" by Emily Giffin has three different character perspectives and follows the aftermath of a high school party. At the party, a terrible photo is taken of a girl who is nearly naked, she is passed out, and a racist comment is added to the photo, as well. That photo is then shared with lots of friends through Snapchat, and of course, makes it through the entire high school and the community. And so the book follows, Nina, the mother of the boy accused of taking the photo, Lyla, who's photo was taken, and Tom, her father. I flew through this book, like it was an enjoyable read, but it also felt like it was too relaxing, it was too casual and sweet considering the content. I just really wanted the author and the story to dig deeper - into the emotional lives of the characters, the ramifications of photos and choices like this. And in parts it did, but it just  could've done more. I can see reader's loving this book, or at least devouring it as quickly as I did. Have you read "All We Ever Wanted" by Emily Giffin? Comment below and let me know your thoughts about the book!


Saturday, August 25, 2018

American Gods by Neil Gaiman - Book Review



This book was so long! And the font was so small! "American Gods" follows Shadow who recently got out of prison, and his life is kind of a disaster. Shadow meets a man named Wednesday, who is actually a god ( of the traditional Norse gods, he is their leader). He has decided to battle the American gods like globalization and the media - it's a lot to unpack. On the one hand I totally get why people like this - it was unique and it was sharp. But I felt like I was missing "the joke" through a lot of it. I'm not very familiar with Norse mythology, and if you aren't either, just now that there aren't going to be that many hat tips in the book to let you know what's going on. I'm sure Gaiman was doing something clever on every single pahe, and I was missing it. I did appreciate parts of his writing style though, and look forward to reading other Gaiman novels in the future. Have you read "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman? Let me know down below in the comments what you reading experience was like for the book!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton - Book Review


"Lilli de Jong" follows a fictional story of a young Quaker woman who in 1883 finds herself pregnant, unwed, and abandoned by her partner. Lilli gives birth in a home that is for unwed mothers, and then afterwards really struggles to one, even keep her daughter, and two, provide a life for them. All while society works really hard to "teach her a lesson" and keep her in her place. The historical elements in this novel are so strong, and for that reason alone I would recommend this book. Some of the language in this book is a little cringey - the author does a really good job describing what it would be like it breast-feed in 1883, and also what it's like in 2018. The main character is a new mother, she is feeding her child, and she also becomes a wet nurse - so it makes sense, but I could see that theme being a little repetitive for some readers. Have you read "Lilli de Jong"? let me know what you thought of it below or let me know your favorite historical fiction novel that really left you concerned for the main character!






Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Book Review



"The Handmaid's Tale" follows a woman that we know as Offred, or Of Fred ( her name relates to the main that "owns" her, yikes) she is a handmaid in a dystopian future where... and this book really doesn't make it clear exactly what has happened, we'll get more into that later, but through a combination of man made, and other circumstances, birth rates are down. And so this system has been put into place where women who are able to conceive and have proven that they can have children are basically used as machine for that purpose - it is awful. I think this story is fascinating and the messages within it are very important, but the way that it was carried out and my reading experience of it were just, meh. The way the world is built is so broken and implausible that it was really hard for me to enjoy the book in just a sense of learning and enjoying the metaphors for society. There were many quotable moments moments that I really enjoyed and I think the book is worth reading for that. Have you read "The Handmaid's Tale"? Let me know what you thought of it below!


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck - Book Review



I don't say this lightly, because it's one of those things, but if you enjoyed "The Nightingale" I think you will love this book. "The Women in the Castle" follows three different women in the aftermath of World War II in Germany. All three of the women are widows because of World War II and they take shelter together in a castle that belongs to the family of one of the women. As their stories intertwine in the book, we see the constant daily struggle and reminders of the atrocities that were committed in Germany and by the German people. And how complex and complicated just even casual relationships become when you are not sure what your neighbor was recently capable of . These women fight to find the good amoungst them and within themselves. It is just such an emotionally complex book, and were it not for a small drag at the end, this would've been a five star read for me. Have you read "The Women in the Castle"? Let me know what you thought of it down below or your favorite World War II novel about women's lives!


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli - Book Review



"Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" is a YA contemporary novel that follows a high schooler named Simon. He has been emailing secretly with a secret class mate, code named Blue. Simon is gay, and he knows that Blue is another boy at his high school, but he isn't sure who. One of his peers, named Martin, stumbles upon these emails. I will forever hate Martin for this, and really, people with the name Martin kinda start off on the wrong foot with me now. The blackmail the ensues and the decisions Simon has to make to protect his privacy and Blue's privacy were the driving force for the book, and definitely a page turner. I really enjoyed this book! Becky Albertalli is one of the YA authors, that as an adult I can read, and it doesn't feel cringy or contrived, it's just a good book. Was it a little slower or predictable at times? Maybe. But it was also so cute and deep during those times - that I kind of don't care! Have you read "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" ? Let me know what you thought of it below in the comments! 

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager - Book Review



"The Last Time I Lied" by Riley Sager is a book I rooted for the whole time I read it - but did it measure up to my hopeful expectations? This book is a psychological thriller and it follows main character Emma. Fifteen years ago, Emma stayed at Camp Nightingale and while she was there her three room mates went missing, never to be found again - and if you read Riley Sager's last book, that makes Emma a "final girl". Present day Emma has been invited back to Camp Nightingale as a counselor and - that's all you get, any more plot will feel spoiler-y, and it's better to play it safe! Reading this book was tough for me because I kept giving it chances - I was so hopeful that the plot would eventually work, or that one of the many twists would grab me. Unfortunately though, this was a two star read for me and not one that I would recommend to other readers. Have you read "The Last Time I Lied" by Riley Sager? Comment below with your thoughts on the book, or tell me a book that you refused to give up on, but ultimately found disappointing! 


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin - Book Review


"The Immortalists" by Chloe Benjamin begins as a historical fiction novel set in 1969, and follows a family of children who visit a fortune teller. The fortune teller swears that she can tell them each the day that they will die. Each of the siblings after getting their "death date" have a slightly different reaction to the news - some are frightened, others are comforted or even ambivalent. The book then follows each sibling through their lives, and as a reader we are left to wonder did having their "death date" influence the decisions the characters made or was that date more than just a prediction? Just as an FYI, there is some pretty explicit sexual content at the beginning of this book, so just know that going in. Regardless, I started out really enjoying this book, it was a strong four. I liked the ideas presented and the thought experiment of that, but as the book continued on it was more of a three star read for me. I think the novel starts out a lot stronger than it ends, but because of the ideas in it, I still think it's a really interesting read. Have you read "The Immortalists" by Chloe Benjamin? Let me know what you thought of it below!




Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Book Review


"The Heart's Invisible Furies" by John Boyne follows a gay Irish man named Cyril through his entire life. And I can not think of an adjective that even touches on what this book accomplishes. It tackled so many difficult ideas and moments in history with so much grace and so much humanity. And I felt so many emotions while reading, I laughed out loud a handful of times and almost cried quiet a few times, as well. "The Heart's Invisible Furies" is a chunk of a book, and usually books this long are kind of a begrudging thing for me, and I just resent the book for being so long. That was not the case at all with "The Heart's Invisible Furies" - I am so glad it was 500 pages, and I would have gleefully read 500 more. I have a new favorite author, and this book definitely lives up to the hype. Have you read "The Heart's Invisible Furies"? Let me know what you thought of it down below or tell me your favorite book that tackles a difficult topic!


Friday, August 10, 2018

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - Book Review


What happens when you go to the used bookstore just hours after watching Harry and Meghan tie the knot? THIS. This is about as much of a mood read as it gets! "The Royal We" follows and American character named Bex. She studies abroad one summer at Oxford, and while she is there she stays in the same dorm building as Prince Nick. They become friends, one things leads to another, then they fall in love, then things get complicated - it's pretty predictable and boring. Sorry. What is strange going into reading this and I'm still not sure I understand the trickery, but it's such a simple plot and yet somehow this book is over 400 pages long- and it did not need to be. To be fair, "The Royal We" filled a reading need that I had, so I have to give it credit for that. Have you read "The Royal We"? let me know what you thought of it down below! 


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Last Child by Jon Hart - Book Review



Have you heard of this book? Because I had not heard of it before reading it, but it has 28, 000 reviews on goodreads - isn't it weirdly shocking when I book is super popular and you've *never* heard of it!? "The Last Child" is a mystery novel that follows teenage main character, Johnny. Johnny's twin sister went missing over a year ago - no one can find her, the case is growing cold, there are no leads, so Johnny decides that he is going to launch his own investigation. The book also follows a character named Detective Hunt, he is the lead on the case - and in my opinion, a stand out character. The twists in this book are GOOD, the plotting is really good, the pacing is great - I can totally see why "The Last Child" has over four stars on goodreads. But this was more of a plot read for me, I didn't feel particularly attached to any of the characters and I wasn't overly fond of the dialogue. I really did get a kick out of Detective Hunt though, he is one of those no nonsense, overly committed to his job kind of cops, who is also constantly breaking the rules, and probably has a thing for your mom. If you're looking for a new twisty mystery to read, this is one to check out. If you've read "The Last Child" let me know what you thought of it in the comments, but of course, no spoilers!


Friday, July 27, 2018

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris - Book Review


"Bring Me Back" by B.A. Paris is a thriller that follows a man named Finn. At the beginning of the book, Finn is recounting how his girlfriend Layla disappeared after a fight that they had. No one can find her, and that is still the case when the book resumes about a decade or so later. In present day, Finn is dating a woman named Ellen, who is actually Layla's sister ( yeah, kinda weird.) They are both pretty spooked when signs of Layla start appearing in their lives. Finn especially because he is also secretly receiving some spooky emails as well. All of this leaves them both wondering if maybe Layla is actually still alive, maybe someone is holding her hostage, they really aren't sure who these "Layla signs" could be coming from. This book was a pretty big bummer for me - somewhere between two and three stars, just depending on my mood. But here's the thing about this author, even when this book was unbelievable and I was rolling my eyes, like - are you serious!? - she still managed to give me goosebumps. So, I'll still be reading her next book! 


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Best Books I've Read in 2018 ( So Far... ) - Top Ten Tuesday



Today I am sharing with you the very best, the cream of the crop, the tip of the top of books that I have read so far in 2018! This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. 2018 is my first full year of blogging and creating videos about my reading and I am so excited to share with you the best, because they are great! It's an awkward list of eight books ( instead of five, too few, or ten, too many) but I wanted to be sure that they were truly the best of the best so - let's get to it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

10 Must Read Historical Fiction Novels Set in America - Top Ten Tuesday



Today I am sharing with you ten must read historical fiction books set in the ol' US of A in honor of July 4th! This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre's to read, so I happily adapted this week's theme of red, white, and blue. The books in this list are a mix between books I have read and love and books that I haven't read yet but can't wait to pick up!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Book Series I Would Like to Read ( or Reread! ) - Top Ten Tuesday


Today I am sharing with you the top five book series I would like to read (or reread)! This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week's theme was a bit of a challenge for me - to be honest, series just aren't my thing. It's been a while, basically since the OG Harry Potter days, since I was really into a series. But, I know that there are some great ones out there, and some that I'd like to give another go. Let's chat!

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter - Book Review




"The Good Daughter" by Karin Slaughter is one of those stories that is *so* incredibly hard to describe to another person - as soon as I start typing or open my mouth I am worried that I am going to ruin it for some other potential reader. SO, carefully, I will say - this book is a suspenseful thriller that is part law procedural and part family drama. I don't even want to say who the main character is, and I definitely don't want to tell you about the unexpected events that created so much suspense. I don't want to go into those details, because I want you to experience the book the same way I did - it was *awesome*. I love the feeling of excitement that this book was able to evoke. I had to stop myself multiple times from jumping a paragraph or even a page or two ahead because I am just completely unable to handle this level of suspense!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout - Book Review



"My Name is Lucy Barton" follows main character Lucy after she recovers from surgical complications after an appendectomy. Her mother comes to visit her in the hospital. Lucy and her mother have a very strained relationship and they haven't spoken in years. Big chunks of the book are conversations between Lucy and her mother as they are reconnecting and Lucy's reflections on that - as well as Lucy reflecting on her other relationships - her husband, children, and her professional career. I'm pretty sure this is the most character driven book that I have ever read. It is also one of those books that relies heavily on the reader enjoying the artistic choices of the author. "My Name is Lucy Barton" is part poetry, but also part bizarre ramble - and then, for me, there were also these glimpses of brilliance.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood - Book Review





"Impossible Saints" is set in 1907, in England, and follows two main characters - Lilia and Paul. Paul lives an orderly and quiet life as an Anglican priest, and that is shaken slightly when he reunites with his childhood friend Lilia. Lilia was a village school teacher turned suffragist, and she definitely was a stand out character for me in the book. Fairly quickly, Lilia's and Paul's relationship develops into something more - and that leaves both characters questioning ideas that they had built themselves upon. I gave this book three stars because I enjoyed Lilia's character so much - but I just didn't feel like this book did any one thing particularly well. There wasn't that much history for historical fiction, and there wasn't that much for it to be about Lilia's and Paul's relationship.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Sinner by Petra Hammesfahr - Book Review





This book gets *super* weird - lets go ahead and start with that - and it was a buddy read for me, so sorry buddy BLERG lol you can pick next time! Okay, so it gets weird, but the premise is still pretty neat, and it's why I read the book, so lets discuss. This book follows a woman named Cora, she is a wife and mother, and she goes to the beach with her family one day and while she is there having a wonderful time with her family - she stabs a man, to death. When the investigators ask her why she did it, she claims that it is completely random, she doesn't know why. The rest of "The Sinner" follows Cora and the investigators as they try to unpack her life and find out exactly what her motivations could have been that day. This is one of those rare times when the the adaptation is better than the book. The narration style of "The Sinner" was completely chaotic and really took away from the suspense that the mini series was able to successfully build.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant - Book Review



"The Boston Girl" by Anita Diamant is historical fiction and follows main character Addy as she describes her life to her granddaughter. The synopsis of this book sounds amazing and I was so excited to read it, I really wanted to like it - and I don't dislike it, I gave it three stars. Addy is telling her life story to her granddaughter, so a lot of the writing feels conversational, but it also started to feel like a list of all of the things that had happened to Addy. There wasn't that much exploration - not just in time, but also emotionally, it didn't feel like there was any exploration there. There wasn't much in terms of turn of phrase, and that was a disappointment. And it also didn't dive very deeply into any one historical event, the books starts in 1915- there's a lot to work with there! Have you read "The Boston Girl"? Comment down below and let me know your thoughts on the novel!

Friday, March 2, 2018

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater - Book Review




"The 57 Bus" by Dashka Slater is a non fiction book that I discovered through Book Riot ( god bless you, Book Riot). This book follows the lives of two teenagers - Richard, a black male teenager, and Sasha, a white agender teenager. One day, while Sasha was napping on the bus, Richard lit Sasha's skirt on fire which resulted in severe injuries for Sasha. Of course, Richard is arrested and then asked why he committed the crime, and when pushed to give reason to his thoughtless crime, his answer boiled down to hate. Richard is then charged with multiple hate crimes, and is facing life imprisonment. I loved the journalistic approach that Dashka Slater brought to this story. Each side of the story is presented in a way that is so relatable and understandable, and for that, also heartbreaking and incredibly confusing.

If you have read "The 57 Bus" I would love chat with you about it, please comment down below!


Monday, February 26, 2018

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson - Book Review



This non fiction book covers a wide range of topics in the field of astrophysics. And for someone who is not in the field of astrophysics professionally, or even as a hobby, I feel like this book covered a lot of information in a fairly deep manner, in a hurry - but it didn't provide a lot of how and why for the field, which negatively affected my reading experience. I tried to listen to the audiobook, because Neil deGrasse Tyson reading this to me should be a pleasure, but nope - couldn't do it! This book is under two hundred pages, but as I was reading it I had to go over each page two or three times. Until reading this I don't think I had a full appreciation for just how abstract all of these ideas are and how hard it is to wrap your brain around them. I do think I learned a lot from reading this book though and enjoyed the experience when I felt that the information was explained in an accessible manner!


Friday, February 23, 2018

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman - Book Review






 I love this book SO MUCH! And I think that it might be my new favorite fiction novel, and I can not possible tell you all of the reasons why, but you have to read this book! It follows a woman named Eleanor and she is wonderful, but she is definitely not "fine". Something terrible happened to Eleanor as a child and as a result she really struggles socially and also emotionally. And this book explores her experience, and how she might be able to heal from that trauma. You know those books, that you feel if everyone read them the world would be a better place? This is that book. I finished this books week ago, and let it sit with me before reviewing - I still think about it, and the things that it taught me.



Need more Eleanor? Click here to check out my Top 5 Favorite Quotes from "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine"!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Five Quotes I Loved // "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Girl. Each week there is a new prompt, and this week's prompt is book quotes you love!




Every now and then a book comes around that I don't just like, I LOVE - obsessed, even. It is my new favorite, and I want to tell the whole world about it, screaming from the internet rooftops about the glory that is this amazing book. And that's definitely the case with my recent read, "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman. SUCH an amazing book, which SO MANY breathtaking moments that I want to share with you! Check out the video above, or keep reading, for five quotes from "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" that I love!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

My Ultimate TBR - 100 Books I Want to Read



Who on the bookish internet doesn't have a TBR list that is just completly out of control? I want to meet this person - teach me your ways. I swear I add one or two books every single day to this ever growing list and IT IS GETTING OUT OF CONTROL. So, I sat down and found the books that I am *most* excited about - not just, yeah I'd like to read that, but like, omg I want to read this book *right now* try to stop me, excited. And I came up with 100 books. Check out the video above for my list, and please comment! I'd love to hear if you have any thoughts on these books, good or bad, and if you want to add to the list, well feel free to do that, too!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Reader Problems Tag



Reading through the questions for the reading problems tag, I realized I'm a pretty low stress reader, but I do have a couple of reading issues that get under my skin. Check out the video above or keep reading for my answers to this problematic questions!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Still Me by Jojo Moyes - Book Review




Many thanks to the author and publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. They also sent an additional copy my way to giveaway! Click the links below to enter!

STILL ME GIVEAWAY - US ONLY

"Still Me" is the third book in the series, and follows my, much beloved, Louisa Clark, on her newest adventure in New York City. She works there as an assistant to Agnes, the wife of a wealthy businessman. Agnes has some major secrets, and an agenda all of her own, and Louisa is left trying to pick up all of the pieces. " Still Me" is now my second favorite book in the series. I really like how the author returned to some of those more difficult topics that drew me to the first book in this series, "Me Before You". Louisa really struggles in this book in staying to her true self, her bumblebee striped tights wearing Louisa, while also exposing herself to all of these new opportunities that core person.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel - Book Review




"The Roanoke Girls" by Amy Engel is one dark, disturbing, and twisty tale and it's kind of a page turner! We follow main character Lane Roanoke, and as her story moves from past to present we see how she came to live with her grandparents on the Roanoke plantation after her mother committed suicide, and we see some of the darker and more sinister sides of this shared family secret in a small town. This book has a 3.7 Goodreads rating and I think that's fair, I gave it 3 stars. I did enjoy parts of this book, but honestly it wasn't that much of a thriller for me. "Roanoke Girls" to me was an incredibly steamy read, but besides even those scenes this book made me incredibly uncomfortable due to the secret and twist in the book that I think readers will figure out pretty early in. Have you read "Roanoke Girls"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of the book!



Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - Book Review & GIVEAWAY


Thank you so much to the publisher, Penguin Random House, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review, as well a copy to share with you! Check out the link below to find out how to enter ( US only due to shipping costs, sorry).

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Top 5 Bookish Resolutions and Goals



Today I am sharing with you my top five bookish resolutions for 2018. This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new theme, and I especially excited about this week's. I don't usually set resolutions for myself each year, but I do have some bookish things I want to accomplish so maybe this resolution business might be helpful : ) Keep reading, or watch the video above, to find out my bookish resolutions for 2018!